4Q 2021

Utility-Scale Battery Storage Acting as a Virtual Transmission Asset

Although there is little disagreement over the critical need to upgrade existing power transmission grids, challenges exist. Among these challenges are the decade or more it takes to plan and build traditional transmission projects and the short-term mindset among local grid operators. As a result, stakeholders have begun looking to supplement or even replace the poles and wires that carry high voltage currents from power plants to end users with other solutions, such as battery energy storage systems (BESSs).

The reason is simple: storage as a transmission asset (SATA) is flexible, scalable, and relocatable. Despite these advantages, there are still many grid system operators with planning and regulatory frameworks that prevent storage from being proposed or selected as a transmission solution.

This Guidehouse Insights report is intended to highlight the benefits of SATA and explore the landscape of market drivers, policies, and new projects around the world. Forecasts for plug-in EV (PEV) electricity consumption—a driver of SATA—are provided by region. This report also provides an update on regulatory changes that are enabling SATA and recommendations for project developers, integrators, and policymakers to further develop the market for SATA.

Pages 16
Tables | Charts | Figures 3
  • What are the drivers, barriers, and trends in the market for SATA?
  • What are the advantages of energy storage compared with conventional transmission projects?
  • Where have SATA projects been deployed to date?
  • What challenges do conventional transmission projects face? 
  • How can stakeholders support the use of energy storage for transmission deferral in regions around the world?
  • Energy storage systems integrators
  • Energy storage project developers
  • Wind project developers
  • Solar project developers
  • Independent power producers
  • Transmission and distribution (T&D) technology providers
  • Utilities
  • Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firms
  • Governments and energy regulatory agencies
  • Investor community




Problems Facing the Electricity Grid Highlight the Need for Transmission Upgrades

Transmission Congestion and Generation Curtailment Are Key Issues

Load and Demand Growth Present Challenges for Utilities

Severe Weather Heightens Reliability Concerns

Energy SATA Offers Advantages

Energy Storage Offers Advantages During Congestion

SATA for Transmission Deferral’s Viability Has Determination Criteria

SATAs Offer a Wide Array of Advantages over Traditional Infrastructure

MISO’s Storage as a Transmission-Only Asset Provides a Model for Implementing SATA

MISO’s SATA Has Several Key Features

MISO’s Storage as a Transmission-Only Asset Highlights the Need for Regulatory Certainty

Countries Around the World Are Exploring SATA

Pacific Gas and Electric Project (US) Uses a Hybrid Approach

RINGO Project in France Is Expected to Help Manage Congestion

Grid Booster Project in Germany Is Planned to Reinforce the Grid

AES Gener Project in Chile Is Intended to Relieve System Congestion

Lyon Group’s Project in Australia Facilitates Congestion Management

Countries Need Developments to Catch Up

Vendors and Project Developers Should Work with Customers to Offer Tailored Solutions

Vendors and Project Developers Should Focus on Vertically Integrated Utilities

Regulators Must Provide Clear Directives to Boost Confidence in SATA

Storage Options Must Be Thoroughly Integrated into All Aspects of Grid Planning and Procurement

  • Plug-In EV Electricity Consumption by Region, World Markets: 2021-2030
  • Electricity Use Growth Rate, US: 1990-2050
  • Energy SATA
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